My research includes publications and conference papers that describe and analyze cultural, literary and linguistic phenomena in the fields of Yiddish literature, Jewish-American literature, Holocaust testimonies, and Jewish life-writing. My main scholarly contribution to the field of Yiddish studies is the monograph Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of Yiddish Writers (2005). This study examines the modern autobiography in Yiddish as it originated in the second half of the nineteenth century and developed in various transcontinental centers in the twentieth century. The book is the first comprehensive scholarly examination of the Yiddish autobiographical genre.
My current scholarly work, the forthcoming book Survivors and Exiles: Yiddish Culture after 1945 focuses on post-1945 Jewish literature in Yiddish and English including fiction by I.B.Singer and Chaim Grade, poetry by Yankev Glatshteyn, Avrom Sutzkever, and testimonial literature by Leib Rochman and Elie Wiesel.
About the research
Research key words:
Jewish Literature, Yiddish language and culture, Holocaust, Scandinavian studies, Jewish American studies and Life-Writing
Ph.D., Columbia University, 1996, Yiddish Literature, Department of German. Advisor Dan Miron.
M.Phil., University of Copenhagen, 1983. Scandinavian Philology
B.A., University of Copenhagen, 1977. Comparative Literature
2011- Center of Languages and Literatures, Lund University, Sweden. Docent/Associate Professor.
2003-2011 University of Chicago, Department of Germanic Studies and Committee on Jewish Studies. Senior Lecturer in Yiddish.
2003-2005 Northwestern University, Jewish Studies and German. Lecturer in Yiddish.
1998-2002 Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sheldon Drobny Assistant Professor of Yiddish and Hebrew Languages and Literatures.
2018 January: One month course “The Early Writings of I.B.Singer” in the YIVO/Bard College Winter program
2008: Indiana University and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Reading Yiddish For Holocaust Research. Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages. June 16-July 25.
2006: University of Vilnius. Vilnius Yiddish Institute Summer Program, 4 weeks. Yiddish teacher.
2002: Fall semester. University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Germanic Studies. Visiting Assistant Professor
Academic Grants and Awards:
2017: The Workmen’s Circle/Dr. Emanuel Patt Visiting Professorship in Eastern European Jewish Studies at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York. Two months fellowship for the project The Bilingual Works of Isaac Bashevis Singer, January and May.
2016: Grants for the Danish translation of Sutzkever’s prose and memoirs from Statens Kunstråd (The Governmental Art Council) and Dansk Forfatterforening (Danish Writers Guild).
2016: Harry Ransom Center Research Fellowship in the Humanities, University of Texas, Austin. One-month Fellowship, November 27-December 23 for research in the I.B.Singer archive.
2014-2016: Vetenskabsrådet(Research Council, Sweden). 3 year grant for the project The Bilingual Works of Isaac Bashevis Singer: Novels, Translations, World Literature.
2013: Edwin Gale Fellowship. Research in the I. B. Singer archive at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, Jan.2-31, 2013.
2009: Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, August 3-December 30.
2005-2006: Research Fellow at the Sue and Leonard Miller Center of Contemporary Judaic Studies, University of Miami.
2003: Vivian Lefsky Hort Memorial Fellow. Grant from the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
2003: YIVO Society in Chicago. Grant for the publication of Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of Yiddish Writers.Koret Jewish Studies Publication Subsidy, San Francisco. Grant for the publication of Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of Yiddish Writers.
Survivors and Exiles: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust(Wayne State UP, 2015)
MLA Award: Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish. Honorable Mention
Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of YiddishWriters (Wisconsin UP, 2005)
Exploration in Modern Yiddish Culture (325 pages and 10 contributors). MarionAptroot and Jan Schwarz, eds.Dusseldorf University Press (forthcoming 2019). Proceedings from the conference “Yiddish Culture in its European Context”, Lund University October 2012, and additional essays.
I.B.Singer, In the World of Chaos: Early Writings. A bilingual anthology of Singer’s early Warsaw fiction and criticism translated into English. Edited and with an introduction by Jan Schwarz (Modern Language Association, forthcoming 2021).
Editorships of Journals:
Editor. “Multilingual Jewish Literature in America,” Special Issue of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary Historyvol.30 (1) (2010).
Coeditor with Gaby Finder, University of Virginia, Antony Polonsky, Brandeis and Natalia Aleksiun, Touro College POLIN 20: Studies in Polish Jewry: “Memorializing the Holocaust”. 2008.
Selected articles forthcoming and published after 2004 (refereed articles identified with *):
*” I.B.Singer's Art of Ghost-Writing: Enemies, A Love Story”. In I’am Allowed – I’am Jewish: Humor after the Holocaust. Edited by Gabriel Finder, David Slucki and Avinoam Patt. Wayne State University press (forthcoming 2019).
* “The Lost Souls of Meshugah: Textual Transmission of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s World Literature,” Studies in Contemporary Jewry. Forthcoming Volume 31, 2019. Hebrew University.
*”Transnational Ashkenaz: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust”.Premiers savoirs de la Shoah. Ed. Judith Lindenberg.Éditions du CNRS2017:231-245. (in French)
*”What is your favorite work of Abramovitsh?”Afn Shvel. Gezelshaftlekh-literarisher zshurnal. New York (in Yiddish). Winter/Spring, 2018. No. 378-379, p.5-6.
*”Avrom Sutzkever’s Holocaust Stories: A Hidden Scroll”. Afn Shvel. Gezelshaftlekh-literarisher zshurnal. New York (in Yiddish). Winter/Spring, 2016. No. 370-371, p.15-21.
*”Transnational Ashkenaz: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust”. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis eds. Ruth Illman. Open Access, published April 10, 2016.http://ojs.abo.fi/index.php/scripta
*“Post-War Yiddish Holocaust Literature”, Jewish Holocaust Literature, ed. Alan Rosen, Cambridge UP(2013):102-117.
*“Such a Rag-Bag”: The Historical Novel as Spectacle, neo-Hasidic Hagiography, and Pseudo-Territory.” Joseph Opatoshu: A Yiddish Writer Between Europe and America(Studies in Yiddish 11):97-111. Legenda, London 2013. Eds. Sabine Koller, Gennady Estraykh, and Mikhail Krutikov
*“Nothing but a Bundle of Paper”: Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Literary Career in America,” in Marion Aptroot, Efrat Gal-Ed, Roland Gruschka and Simon Neuberg, eds. Leket. Jiddistik heute | Yiddish Studies Today | yidishe shtudyes hayntDüsseldorf: Düsseldorf University Press (dup), 2012:189-207.
*“Speaking Tevye der milkhiger in Danish: Performance, Humor and World Literature”. Scholem Aleichem in Translation and the European Context, ed. Gennady Estraykh (Agenda, 2012):199-215
*“Glatshteyn, Singer, Howe and Ozick: Performing Yiddish Poetry at the 92 Street Y, 1963-1969,” Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary Historyvol.30 (1) (2010):61-96
*”Blood Ties: Leib Rochman’s Yiddish War Diary” in The Memorial Books of Eastern European Jewry, ed. Rosemary Horowitz (McFarland Press 2010):163-182.
*“Encounters with German Language and Literature in Yankev Glatshteyn’s Work”, Between Two Worlds: Yiddish-German Encounters, eds. Jeremy Dauber and Jerold Frakes. Studia Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam. (University of Amsterdam 2009):197-212.
*“Three Obstacles to a Critical Biography of Sholem Rabinovitsh” Zutot(Amsterdam 2008):
* “1953/1954 – A Year in Yiddish Literature.” Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Vol.23,
(2008), ed. Ezra Mendelsohn: 185-201.
*”Confrontation and Elegy in the Novels of Chaim Grade.” The Multiple Voices of Modern Yiddish Culture, edited by Shlomo Berger, Studia Rosenthaliana(Amsterdam 2007):30-55.
*“The Original Yiddish Text and Context of Night,” MLA Teaching Approaches to Elie Wiesel's Night, ed. Alan Rosen (2007):52-58.
*“A Library of Hope and Destruction: The Yiddish Book Series Dos Poylishe Yidntum, 1946-1966,” and “Appendix: List of 175 Volumes of Dos poylishe yidntum.”POLIN 20: Studies in Polish Jewry. 2008:173-196
*“Yankev Glatshteyn,” Dictionary of Literary Biography: Yiddish Literature, vol.333. Ed. Joseph Sherman (Bruccoli Clark Layman, New York 2007):45-55.
*“After the Destruction of Jewish Vilna: Abraham Sutzkever’s Poetry, Testimony and Cultural Rescue Work, 1944-1946,” East European Jewish Affairs, ed. John Klier, Vol.35, No.2, December 2005:209-225
*“The Voice of the Yiddish Poet: Avrom Ber Tabatshnik’s Interview With Yankev Glatshteyn in New York, 1955,” Yiddish After the Holocaust (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, 2004):74-91
Editor. “Multilingual Jewish Literature in America,” Special Section of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History vol.30 (1) (2010). ”Introduction”, 1-5.
Coeditor with Gaby Finder, University of Virginia, Antony Polonsky, Brandeis and Natalia Aleksiun, Touro College POLIN 20: Studies in Polish Jewry: “Memorializing the Holocaust”. (2007)
- Schwarz, J. (submitted). Survivors and Exiles: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust. Wayne State University Press.
- (2009). Mælkemanden Tevje.
- Schwarz, J. (2005). Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of Yiddish Writers. University of Wisconsin Press.
- Schwarz, J. & Aptroot, M. (2014). (Eds.) Yiddish Culture in the 20th Century. Studia Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam.
- Schwarz, J. (2010). (Ed.) Multilingual Jewish Literature in America. Prooftexts, 30:1. Indiana University Press.
- Schwarz, J., Finder, G., Aleksiun, N. & Polonsky, A. (2007). (Eds.) Making Holocaust Memory. POLIN : Studies in Polish Jewry, 20.
- Schwarz, J. (2008). 1953/1954 - A Year in Yiddish Literature. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, 23, 185-201. Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
- Schwarz, J. (2007). A Library of Hope and Destruction: The Yiddish Book Series Dos poylishe yidntum, 1946-1966. POLIN : Studies in Polish Jewry, 173-196.
- Schwarz, J. (2007). Confrontation and Elegy in the Novels of Chaim Grade. Studia Rosenthaliana, 30-55. Van Gorcum.
- Schwarz, J. (2005). After the Destruction of Jewish Vilna: Abraham Sutzkever's Poetry, Testimony, and Cultural Rescue Work, 1944-1946. East European Jewish Affairs, 35, 209-225. Routledge.
Book chapters (8)
- Schwarz, J. (2013). "Such a Rag-Bag": The Historical Novel as Spectacle, neo-Hasidic Hagiography, and Pseudo-Territory. In Koller, S., Krutikov, M. & Estraykh, G. (Eds.) Joseph Opatoshu: A Yiddish Writer Between Europe and America (pp. 97-112). Legenda, Oxford.
- Schwarz, J. (2013). Post-War Yiddish Holocaust Literature. In Rosen, A. (Ed.) Literature of the Holocaust (pp. 102-118). Cambridge University Press.
- Schwarz, J. (2012). "Nothing but a Bundle of Paper": Isaac Bashevis Singer's Literary Career in America. In Aptroot, M., Gruschka, R., Neuberg, S. & Gal-Ed, E. (Eds.) Leket : yidishe shṭudyes haynṭ (pp. 173-189). Düsseldorf University Press.
- Schwarz, J. (2012). Speaking Tevye der milkhiker in Translation: Performance, Humour, and World Literature. In Estraykh, G., Finkin, J., Hoge, K. & Krutikov, M. (Eds.) Translating Sholem Aleichem (pp. 199-215). Legenda, Oxford.
- Schwarz, J. (2011). Blood Ties: Leib Rochman's Yiddish War Diary. In Horowitz, R. (Ed.) Memorial Books of Eastern European Jewry : Essays on the History and Meanings of Yizker Volumes (pp. 163-179). McFarland.
- Schwarz, J. (2007). Jacob Glatstein (Yankev Glatshteyn) (1896-1971). In Sherman, J. (Ed.) Writers in Yiddish (pp. 45-55). Thomson Gale.
- Schwarz, J. (2007). The Original Yiddish Text and the Context of Night. In Rosen, A. (Ed.) Approaches to teaching Wiesel's Night (pp. 52-58). Modern Language Association of America.
- Schwarz, J. (2004). Avrom Tabatshnik's interview with Yankev Glatshteyn, New York, 1955. In Sherman, J. (Ed.) Yiddish after the Holocaust (pp. 74-91). Boulevard.
Encyclopaedia entries (1)
- Schwarz, J. (2010). Memoir and Life Writing: Yiddish. In Baskin, J. R. (Ed.) The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture. Cambridge University Press.
Articles in specialist publications and popular press (2)
- Manager of Research and Research Education at Yiddish